How to Empower Yourself through Spiritual Journey with Andy Duchovnay and Pam Urbas, on The Healers Café with Dr Manon Bolliger ND
In this episode of The Healers Café, Dr. Manon Bolliger ND, talks to Andy Duchovnay and Pam Urbas from The Indigo Sanctuary. We are sound healers, rock collectors, who collect rocks from Nature in sustainable ways, throughout the US, and spiritual artists who do lapidary arts.
Highlights from today’s episode include:
Pam Urbas 07:41
I don’t tell people that practice should be yoga, or practice should be meditation. When I started teaching, I was teaching in a regular yoga environment, and I moved more towards therapeutic yoga. And a lot of my clients were into prayer. And I felt that it was just as beneficial as meditation. So, it really depends on the person.
Andy Duchovnay 14:12
And we believe the importance of energy, and the presence of energy everywhere. So just like when you raise food organically, the energy of raising it in a in a good ethical way and in a sustainable way. It infuses the food, and you don’t get negative karma from it. And we feel the same about ethically sourcing our gemstones. We know that we’re collecting it in a respectful way. And it adds to our sense because we write about our stones, and we say every stone has a story.
Andy Duchovnay 16:41
And it all weaves together because we started taking gemstones and Reiki and fusing them and incorporating them in playing bowl or singing bowl playing sticks. It adds to the energy level and the spiritual experience of it. So, we like to have connections between things that we might not always see, but it just evolves that way.
About Andy Duchovnay and Pam Urbas
Andy and Pam are spiritual partners of 36 years. They are both empaths and have both been healers since childhood.
Andy is a retired environmental lawyer, having worked for the USEPA for 20 years. Before then, he represented organic food producers and was involved in the development of the US Organic Food Production Act of 1990.
Pam is a yoga teacher, who worked mainly with people with special needs, the elderly and women in homeless shelters. She now teaches Yin Yoga online, a practice Pam and Andy use in their home practice.
Together, Pam and Andy have conducted Yin Yoga and Singing Bowl Sound Bath programs, and conducted chakra balancing sessions, throughout the Philadelphia and suburban area. They are spiritual entrepreneurs, who travel throughout the US to collect healing gemstones for their artwork, as well as annual trips to Nepal, to work collaboratively with Jaki and Tulsi, their business partners.
Core purpose/passion: Our core purpose is to support people develop and grow their spiritual lives. We believe that self-care is necessary. When we take care of ourselves, we can give to others in a sustainable and heart-centered way. To have a meaningful spiritual life it is helpful to have a Home Sanctuary where you can quiet your mind and relax, meditate, pray, play singing bowls, do yoga, journal or anything else you have included in your daily home practice.
About Dr. Manon Bolliger, ND:
Dr. Manon is a Naturopathic Doctor, the Founder of Bowen College, an International Speaker, she did a TEDx talk “Your Body is Smarter than you think. Why aren’t you Listening?” in Jan 2021, and is the author of Amazon best-selling books “What Patient’s Don’t Say if Doctors Don’t Ask”. & “A Healer in Every Household” For more great information to go to her weekly blog: http://bowencollege.com/blog.
For tips on health & healing go to: https://www.drmanonbolliger.com/tips
About The Healers Café:
Dr. Manon’s show is the #1 show for medical practitioners and holistic healers to have heart to heart conversations about their day to day lives.
Follow us on social media! https://www.facebook.com/thehealerscafe
Welcome to the Healers Cafe. Conversations of health and healing with Dr. Manon.
Dr. Manon 00:16
So welcome to the Healers Cafe. And today I have Andy and Pam Duchovnay with me. Did I say that right?
Andy Duchovnay 00:27
Dr. Manon 00:27
It is Duchovnay. Okay, great. And they have the Indigo Sanctuary, their sound healers, rock collectors, who collect rocks from nature in sustainable ways throughout the USA, and spiritual artists who do lapidary arts. So, I have lots of questions for you. You’ve also been spiritual partners for 36 years. You’re both empaths and have been healers since childhood. And one of my most common questions to start is, how did it start? How did you go into the healing field? So, let’s start with that. And really, thank you for coming on this show.
Andy Duchovnay 01:16
Pam Urbas 01:17
Andy Duchovnay 01:18
I think we started in the healing field, both of us as being the people in our families, who seemed to have the sensitivity to sense the energy that was going on in the family and having the skills to navigate what was going on in the family. And I think that’s how it started for us. And, then as we grew up, and we met each other and started our lives together, I think we were looking for a higher quality of life, something more in rich, spiritual. And I think together, we introduced each other to different things that we were interested in. And the synergistic effect between …
it just seemed to grow.
Dr. Manon 02:19
Okay, so let’s go back. Because it’s funny, one of the things are the people I want to attract are self-identified healers in every household. I really believe that there are people that end up being the sensitive ones that kind of understand what’s going on. And they self-identify that way. And it’s funny when you both sort of talked about that right away. So how did you know that it was you? How could you tell that that was your calling is not quite the right word, but that, that it’s your path?
Andy Duchovnay 03:07
I think that it wasn’t something that I knew, as a child, it was only looking backward, that I was able to assess, you know, why is it that this is my role in my family? And why is it that my family looked to me to exercise whatever powers I had to, to act to try and calm the waters? Or we’re just add to the positive energy in the family and in the situation?
Dr. Manon 03:47
Okay, and then because it’s interesting, you became a lawyer, too. You’re an environmental lawyer. Did, did you see a connection or a link between your natural sort of skill set to, in a sense, be the mediator of the energies of the family, with your role as a mediator, or lawyer? I don’t know what you were doing in law exactly. So, did you see any connections there?
Andy Duchovnay 04:20
You know, I did. And it took me a while to figure that out. I started being a defense litigator, and it was very adversarial. But I was working for the city of Philadelphia. So, I appreciated what I thought was working for the common good. Over time, the litigation, and the fighting that’s inherent in the practice wore on me. And so, I was looking for a much more meaningful practice. And fortunately, I had stumbled into working with organic food producers, which I saw as being part of a positive healing community. And I really was longing to do much, much more positive work, and much, much less adversarial work. And fortunately, that’s where I ended up at the Environmental Protection Agency. But I always knew when I was changing my jobs that I needed to be working towards a common good with people who shared the mission, or the goal with me.
Dr. Manon 05:40
Yeah. Interesting. And so, with you, Pam, then when you met your you were doing yoga, or that’s what you were doing then? Or how,
Pam Urbas 05:51
Oh, actually, I was a children’s entertainer. I had a I was recycling Sally. And I talked about recycling. That’s, that was my big character was booming at the time I. And then my mother got sick. So, I spent eight and a half years caring for my mother. Yeah, and she actually moved in with us. So, we had small children, and my mother. So, at that time, I really didn’t work at all. Except, you know, with it, of course, it’s a lot of work with children. And my mother and the kids loved my mother. What?
Dr. Manon 06:43
I said the word work.
Pam Urbas 06:48
Yeah, I didn’t work outside the home. Yeah, yeah. So yeah. And my mom was a single parent. So, it was a pretty much understood as a young child that I would do that.
Dr. Manon 07:14
Yes. So. So at this point, then you’re doing breath work. And you’re in your bio, you say, spiritual artists. You tie that a little bit in and then what can you share to that people might be able to do during these extremely stressful times?
Pam Urbas 07:41
Well, I could say that, that I started teaching, after my mother passed. And from there, our practice started to flow really started to flow. And I think that practice is different for everyone. I don’t tell people that practice should be yoga, or practice should be meditation. When I started teaching, I was teaching in a regular yoga environment, and I moved more towards therapeutic yoga. And a lot of my clients were into prayer. And I felt that it was just as beneficial as meditation. So, it really depends on the person. I think if you make your own practice, the creative process is so much more meaningful for you. And you’ll stay with it.
Dr. Manon 09:06
I’m just curious how. Yeah, I’m interested always what people do and what they believe about what they do. Yes, yes. You know, because some people are, you know, very rigid about this is the way to do it. And other people, it’s like, no, discover it. And you know, I know for myself, at one point, I had stage four cancer, which was quite a shocking, not utterly surprising, but somewhat surprising, because I was living on farm organic food. I was doing all the right things as far as I had my practice, which I loved. I was aligned with what I’m doing. But I was taking on stress that wasn’t really mine to take, because I had a belief, right. You know, I believe that I had I was responsible for other people, and I wasn’t, and I didn’t know As I didn’t learn this, but coming to a conclusion here, I ended up healing through discovering sound therapy. Myself, like I didn’t, this is quite a few years ago, this is 24 years ago. And what I did after I got my diagnosis, and I, I was supposed to have a hysterectomy and do all this and I wasn’t aligned, I kind of felt like, I don’t want to take a cancer out, when I know that the cancer is coming from another place that was unresolved beliefs and emotions. So, I locked myself in a room for a couple of days, literally. And I found myself humming at certain frequencies, and I, you know, I at that time, it wasn’t like I was googling, or I didn’t even really know how to do all that stuff. And it was just by allowing that time with myself and, and just letting the creative energy come in and just follow it and trust it and, you know, be really connected. And I did that. And I chose a few other natural therapies, but my I healed without, without chemo, without surgery without anything else. And you know, so that’s why I’m always interested about the bigger picture about healing.
Pam Urbas 11:37
Dr. Manon 11:38
And the intuitive knowing that so many of us have.
Pam Urbas 11:47
I totally, totally agree with you. That we have to trust ourselves intuitively, and we know what we need. I think that sometimes, you just use start with one thing, and then that one thing turns into something else. And for us, we always love being in nature, but from yoga, which is we started rock hunting, which is probably not, you know, there’s no real connection. But I think for intuitively, it helped us and then we knew what we needed, if that makes any sense to you.
Dr. Manon 12:39
Reading like that going. Okay, there’s a story there.
Andy Duchovnay 12:44
I firmly believe that things that we have done in the past and learned are never wasted and never lost.
Dr. Manon 12:52
No, I agree.
Andy Duchovnay 12:53
Because, as a really little boy, I loved rock collecting. And when I was 13, I got a rock tumbler. And then it was 45 years later, I bought another one and that part of our lives together, you know, picked up again with rock hunting and studying them and, and then learning about, you know, where do they come from, and making sure they’re ethically sourced. And then we learned lapidary work on top of that. And I think our studies and our use of the, of the stones continued in many different ways.
Pam Urbas 13:38
So, we look at a rock now and we analyze it, what chakra comes from. So, they’re the yoga moves into the crystals and the gemstones. And the way we collect our stones are very, very similar to the way we eat, you know, in a way, because we try to do things in a more natural way.
Andy Duchovnay 14:12
And we believe the importance of energy, and the presence of energy everywhere. So just like when you raise food organically, the energy of raising it in a in a good ethical way and in a sustainable way. It infuses the food, and you don’t get negative karma from it. And we feel the same about ethically sourcing our gemstones. We know that we’re collecting it in a respectful way. And it adds to our sense because we write about our stones, and we say every stone has a story. Let me tell you about it. And it’s like, where was it from? And what did we do with it? And what are the attributes of it? And, and it just, it’s just, it just adds to the positive energy and the experience for us. And then when people come and they see what we’ve done with them, sometimes people are drawn to a stone, without any question. And then we say, well, let me tell you about this stone. And it adds to the level of their appreciation for that stone.
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Andy Duchovnay 16:41
So, we get very excited about that. And it all weaves together because we started taking gemstones and Reiki and fusing them and incorporating them in playing bowl or singing bowl playing sticks. It adds to the energy level and the spiritual experience of it. So, we like to have connections between things that we might not always see, but it just evolves that way.
Dr. Manon 17:15
And again, just following your instinct. And, and it’s funny how you tied into in the past you liked rocks. And it’s funny how, you know, it seems like our life. Circular is not quite the right word. But there’s aspects and parts that keep showing up. Yeah, it’s very, it’s very interesting, you know, if we if we listen to it, so what, what could you or would you want to share with people, because this is a time and again, I don’t want to get it political. That’s not at all where I’m going. And under my own license, you know, a lot of us have gag orders. So, we’re not really allowed to speak. So, I’m not trying to go into any of those types of details. But I’m well aware that there’s a lot of people in, in deep fear. And they may be fearful of the virus, they may be fearful of fear itself. They may be fearful of the changes in their life. They there’s a lot of people in a lot of pain, and what practices from everything that you’ve come across. First of all, is it like that in Philadelphia?
Pam Urbas 18:45
It is. Oh, yeah.
Andy Duchovnay 18:50
I think one of the things that we find most helpful for us that would be helpful for other people is to have a daily routine of a spiritual practice. It’s important that it be daily. And it’s important that once someone starts it, they should stay with it for about 30 days to get used to it and have it become almost muscle memory. And having a safe space. To have that practice is really important something a place that’s calming, without electronic devices, a place where they feel comfortable. Maybe there are things in it, that inspire them to have higher thoughts or bring back good memories. So, it’s so having a home sanctuary, a place to sit and practice is really important. And then as to the home practice. Everyone has their own approaches. Like Pam said it could be prayer for us. We start out With, we clear this space by playing our singing bowls, some people may ring a bell or burn sage, something to clear the energy and it creates a positive calming mood. And then we do meditations first. And we do a mantra meditation with mala beads. And we do chanting after that. And when that’s done, we do a yoga practice. It’s a slow meditative practice. And, and that is that evolves, you know, we add things to it over time, we draw upon our own religious, traditional background, and everyone should feel that they should personalize their practice, right with their own beliefs. So, it’s significant for them. But we believe that there’s a lot of negative energy out there. And people are sensitive to energy. And it’s really easy for people to have the energy cling to them. And having a practice every day, creates a shield, you know, a calming, mindful shield, where you don’t automatically absorb the outside negative energies, and you can keep to yourself a little bit more, with a little more self-care, and keep an even balance because the world is going to be difficult. And we are going to have people trying to push negative energies on us, but we have to fight to resist taking them on.
Dr. Manon 21:53
Yeah, no, I agree. It’s interesting because being in the in the medical field, though, it’s naturopathic medical, it’s still, you know, medical. Yeah, you’re so focused on helping so called helping everybody else, you know, and I found that yeah, it the process really starts with self it really. It’s, I mean, yes, objectively, we can help certain things, you know, like, if people are low in a certain vitamin, you know, like vitamin D, and there’s a viral thing going on, like common sense things. You know, yes, that makes sense. But, but really, for the level of distress that people are in, none of these things are sufficient in and of themselves, you know, and there’s so much divisiveness that’s being created almost right. Like I, I don’t know that people are that divisive, but under so much stress and so much pressure. And, you know, when you talk about electronics, you know, you were watching, you know, I I’ve been picking up the news and stuff, and it’s like, oh, my goodness, they takes over your ability to really connect with yourself and therefore really connect with others. You know, I don’t know if you’re experiencing that and where you are at all.
Andy Duchovnay 23:33
We do feel you have some isolation because we’ve been quarantined. We stay in our house, and we go out, but no outdoor events or no social events. We do keep in constant contact with our spiritual friends in Nepal. So, we have that, that sense of larger community. So that’s really important.
Pam Urbas 24:01
Yeah. And they’re, you know, they’re quarantining right now too, so they’re in lockdown right now. And it’s really, it’s a difficult situation around the world. It’s almost you almost can’t take it in. It’s difficult to take it in. Yeah. And I think our both Andy and I fear can come to us easily. Yeah, yeah, fear can come to us easily and that’s not really a bad thing. We’ve looked at it in different ways. But when it you know, it’s the home practice helps us a lot with that. shielding ourselves of fear and you Not worrying so much. But we do change it around a lot. Not a lot. We stay with the 30 days, maybe longer sometimes. But we do change it. And it distracts you. That distraction helps.
Dr. Manon 25:22
Pam Urbas 25:23
Yeah, it does. Yeah.
Andy Duchovnay 25:25
And I think also, the familiarity I mentioned, like the muscle memory, right? Like with us, we have our mala beads. So, it’s 108 beads. And when we sit down, we know that we’re going to chant, and we’re going to go through the entire set. And as you get started, it’s like, Ah, okay, I’m here now. And you keep chanting and rotating the beads. And going on to the next one. And it’s that sense of continuity and familiarity. And you, I think you can sense the past positive vibes and endorphins you had in other spiritual experiences, meditating or chanting. And, and it just brings you back to that sense of calmness. So, you know, they’re going to be problems during the day. But we feel better facing them, having had that chance to just calm down and prepare to face them and just be ready for them.
Pam Urbas 26:36
And I, I do feel that grounding. There’s so many different kinds of grounding practices, because being impasse and I think Andy and I are similar in this area, we sometimes react from our hearts, and we don’t ground ourselves from our feet. And I find any grounding exercises during this pandemic is, is wonderful. So now we’re going to really focus on gardening. That is, we’re not gardeners.
Dr. Manon 27:21
I was gathering that from what you said.
Pam Urbas 27:25
We are not, we love to play in the garden. We try every year. I think Andy’s a little better than I am. But yeah, but, you know, there’s so many, and there’s different practices, from chanting to Qigong that help with help you with grounding with centering. So, I think that is a really big component, don’t you think?
Andy Duchovnay 27:56
So, we tried to do Root Chakra. Right, you know, things and the yin yoga is very centering in that way.
Dr. Manon 28:08
Yeah. And when you say grounding to you mean also just like, take up your shoes, and put your feet literally on the ground.
Pam Urbas 28:19
Yes, yes. Yes.
Dr. Manon 28:25
But and, you know, you bring a point in, because there are people who the word spiritual doesn’t well, religious doesn’t resonate and spiritual, it’s like, what do you mean, because it feels like it’s a massively wide definition. I don’t even know if it’s actually defined, particularly I haven’t looked it up anyways. But when you say gardening, it’s like, you’re grounding and you’re focusing, and you’re having fun. There’s something kind of about being very present to the activity that has, I mean, for me, that has deep spirituality, like when you’re calm and quiet and connected, that is the beginning of this, you know, so I’m speaking to people who the word just as like, okay, well, what is that? I don’t have stones and I don’t have this, you know, it’s like, well, you have plenty right there. You start with, you know, the, your, your garden if you have one, if not your plant in the house. Like, it’s amazing how nature is so calming and so, but we can really connect to that, you know,
Andy Duchovnay 29:44
And seeing something grow is exciting. It’s really exciting because a lot of people aren’t you’re not familiar with growing food they come from it comes from the supermarket. Yeah, no, but seeing the plant and all this stages, it gives you a great appreciation for, for life, I think
Dr. Manon 30:14
My daughter just moved like out more in the country. And she’s actually started to do a farm like a small farm, you know, and it’s amazing. Like, she’s so thrilled with noticing all the things, the little, the little seeds come out and then putting in the garden, and then you know, and it’s in there, she’s got hens, and you know, chicken laying hens, and it’s just the whole other world. Not that, you know, she, she always knew where things came from, because they made it so. But it’s, it’s very different, participating directly in, in nature to you know, so I get that. So, I mean, our time is like, up, is there any last words you’d like to share?
Pam Urbas 31:09
Well, I’d love people to look at our website, lots of articles on there that are very informative.
Andy Duchovnay 31:18
And we really feel it’s important for us to share ideas. So also on our Instagram, and I think you have our link for that. We’re constantly researching and providing information to help people understand that different aspects of their life, self-care, being mindful, you know, living a spiritual life as they define it. So, we would like people to reach out and to learn and if they have questions to ask us, but we would ask people, try to find your own safe space. Try to find your own practice that appeals to you and spend time with it. Take care of yourselves.
Dr. Manon 32:11
I just want to make sure that your actual website, I just want to make sure I have that.
Andy Duchovnay 32:18
It is www.indigosanctuary.com.
Dr. Manon 32:26
Andy Duchovnay 32:29
Our Instagram is @theindigosanctuary.
Dr. Manon 32:32
Okay, great. Okay, well, thank you very much.
Andy Duchovnay 32:37
Thank you. Our pleasure
Pam Urbas 32:46
Thank you. Pleasure.
Dr Manon 31:28
Thank you for joining us. For more information, go to DrManonBolliger.com.